Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Monday, December 01, 2008

  George Bush finally has a regret

Just one, however. Throughout his presidency Bush has denied that he regrets anything he's said or done, or failed to do. Unlike nearly every other American, he has always expressed a serene – some might say clueless – confidence in the course of his leadership.

But in an interview to be aired on the ABC nightly news, Bush finally confesses to having a regret about something. That's pretty remarkable, you say? Well, not so much perhaps. It's just a single misgiving after all and, predictably, what Bush regrets is that other people were wrong and ruined their own reputations.

From a transcript of interview excerpts:

GIBSON: You've always said there's no do-overs as President. If you had one?

BUSH: I don't know -- the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn't just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence. And, you know, that's not a do-over, but I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.

That sure is some introspection, isn't it? Others were wrong about interpreting the intelligence fed to them by the Bush administration, so it was their reputations on the line. The real problem, we're still supposed to believe, was an "intelligence failure" rather than its manipulation or the fact that he went to war on inadequate grounds.

You'd think, at this stage, that even George Bush could not say anything further to look more callow. But Bush never fails to disappoint.

GIBSON: If the intelligence had been right, would there have been an Iraq war?

BUSH: Yes, because Saddam Hussein was unwilling to let the inspectors go in to determine whether or not the U.N. resolutions were being upheld. In other words, if he had had weapons of mass destruction, would there have been a war? Absolutely.

Once again the favorite lie that Hussein refused to permit weapons inspections. It could be that Bush began his response with a correct interpretation of Gibson's question, only veering off to a false interpretation after he realized that Gibson might challenge his lie about the inspections. In any case, Bush ends up responding to a hypothetical by affirming that he'd have gone to war anyway. But when Gibson rephrases the question, Bush refuses to speculate about the hypothetical:

GIBSON: No, if you had known he didn't.

BUSH: Oh, I see what you're saying. You know, that's an interesting question. That is a do-over that I can't do. It's hard for me to speculate.

In other words, Bush might have started the Iraq War even if he did not have the grounds he gave for doing so. Could you ask for a more repellant 'regret' from any president?

Well, Bush was not done yet. Perhaps regretting that he'd failed to show his true colors by that stage, Bush added this abysmal remark about his future regrets once he leaves office:

GIBSON: One thing you'll miss most?

BUSH: Well, I'll miss being Commander-in-Chief. I have gotten to be -- grown to be so appreciative of our military. It's hard to believe that so many kids, and some not-so-kids, have volunteered to fight in a war. And I'll miss -- and it's going to sound strange to you -- I'll miss meeting with the families whose son or daughter have fallen in combat, because the meetings I've had with the families are so inspirational. They -- I mean, obviously, there's a lot of sadness, and we cry, and we hug, and we occasionally laugh. And we share -- I listen to stories. But the Comforter-in-Chief is always the comforted person.

Believe it or not, I'll miss going to the hospitals as the Commander-in-Chief, and looking a kid in the eye, and have him say, heal me up, Mr. President, I want to go back in. And so, there will be a lot of these special moments that we'll miss.

"Believe it or not". Truer words were never spoken by George Bush.

crossposted at

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